In a sting operation conducted by the FBI in 2015, over 8,000 IP addresses in 120 countries were collected in an effort to take down the website Playpen and its users. Playpen was a communal website that operates on the Dark Web through the Tor browser. Essentially, the site was used to collect images related to child pornography and extreme child abuse. At its peak, Playpen had a community of around 215,000 members and more than 117,000 posts, with 11,000 unique visitors a week.
By now, most people have heard that nude photos of nearly 100 celebrities, including actress Jennifer Lawrence, were stolen and posted to the internet by a hacker. The resultant leak has sparked both an FBI investigation and significant public outcry. On one hand, it is relatively easy to evaluate the morality of the hacker’s actions. But do those who simply view the photos share the blame?